Since the Modi government came to power at the centre, the violence in Jammu and Kashmir is on the rise. Firstly, the PDP gained votes by its inclination towards the extreme elements in the state, but when it came to form the government, the party ignored its supporters and joined hands with the BJP. Secondly, the BJP also did not take into account the campaign run by the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and hunger of power forced it to form a coalition government. It is the first government in J&K in which the BJP is the part of the government. Mehbooba Mufti also forgot the fact that it was the BJP which has been from the very beginning opposing the Article 370 giving special status to the state. It was a very odd combination born out of the greed for power on the part of both sides. The BJP being a hurdle at every step, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not been able to take decisions on her own. The Chief Minister pleaded with the centre to hold talks with the government of Pakistan which has given free hand to militants to enter the Kashmir Valley and play havoc on the people and the government. However, the centre has its own reasoning not to go for negotiation with the neighbour. The cross-border terrorism has always been the policy of Pakistan. Now the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif plainly admitted that Pak militants were involved in the Mumbai terror attack in 2008. India provided concrete proof in this regard but the Pak court dealing with the case said that no dependable information was given to it. The name of Hafiz Sayeed the mastermind behind the attack, is in the terror list of the UNO but he is freely roaming in Pakistan. When talks with Pak is an essential element to solve the long pending issue of Kashmir, India has taken a stand that unless and until the terror activities in Kashmir came to an end, no initiative on bilateral negotiation could be taken. It is a fact that much hyped surgical strikes also could not produce any positive results. The cross-border firing from Pakistan is not letting up and there is no decline in militant activities in Kashmir.
Killing of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahedeen chief in July 2016 triggered a fresh round of violence. Shopian, normally a peaceful area has now been gripped by violence. On May 6 five militants including a Kashmir University assistant professor were killed in Badigam, a village of Shopian. In a protest that followed at least five civilians were killed and more than 100 were injured.
Against this backdrop, the Chief Minister came forward with a proposal that a ceasefire should be declared during the holy month of Ramzan. It was a well-intentioned suggestion to give the much needed respite to people during the month of Ramzan. The government recognized the ground reality and accepted the proposal. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the suggestion and said the government is in favour of any step that would lessen the tension and violence in the Valley. One should hope that militants would reciprocate positively. If wisdom prevails on militants and extremists, the small initiative would open the door for meaningful dialogue with the moderate leaders in the Hurriyat Conference. They can play a key role for ushering peace in the troubled state.